Football video referee calls players back to pitch after halftime

Mainz VAR penalty

De Blasis, who'd had to wait for Alexander Schwolow to re-take his place in goal, held his nerve to score inside the left corner as the Freiburg goalkeeper dived the other way.

The players of Mainz 05 and Freiburg were ordered back onto the pitch having gone to the changing room at halftime because the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded a penalty for a handball in an eventful Bundesliga game on Monday.

But a VAR intervention saw Winkmann call the players back from the dressing rooms after a handball by Freiburg defender Marc-Oliver Kempf was spotted on video replays.

Winkmann watched the incident again on the pitch-side screen and evidently decided Kempf deliberately put his hand to the ball.

Referee Guido Winkmann, who had also been on his way to the tunnel, ordered the players to come back so that Mainz's Pablo De Blasis could take the spot-kick, which he duly converted.

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The confusion continued after the break, as fans threw toilet rolls onto the pitch in protest against Monday night games, delaying the restart by several minutes.

It was not related to the penalty decision but instead a protest against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights.

Potentially one of the most vital goals in the fight at the bottom, but a new low for VAR.

This is the latest VAR-related controversy in a long line of decisions involving the technology.

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